Tag Archives: michelle grattan

With friends like the Feds, life becomes even harder for Napthine government

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra ON the ropes already and facing the polls on November 29, the Victorian Liberals have yet again been knocked by their federal colleagues. Tuesday’s move to reintroduce fuel indexation by the tariff route, with the gamble that validating legislation will get through later, is a clever tactic from a […]

Grattan / Abbott floats GST change but puts limits on commitment to major federation reform

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra THE headline out of Tony Abbott’s weekend Henry Parkes Oration on federalism was his highlighting that the federal government is willing to contemplate a more onerous GST – on certain conditions. The more subtle message was his note of hesitancy about charging full bore ahead on trying to dramatically […]

Grattan on Friday / Barnaby Joyce as Deputy Prime Minister – a thought for the future

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra AS the Nationals this week celebrated their greatest leader, John McEwen, with a reissued autobiography, a question mark hung over the future of current leader Warren Truss. There is an expectation within the party that Deputy Prime Minister Truss, 66, will not contest the next election, something on which […]

Grattan / Some diplomatic dancing over the Abbott-Putin encounter

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra TONY Abbott did not repeat his pledge to “shirt-front” Vladimir Putin when pressed on the subject a day after his initial threat. Now the promise is for a “very, very robust conversation” with the Russian president, assuming he does come to the G20 in Brisbane next month. Abbott said […]

Grattan on Friday / Banning Hizb ut-Tahrir would probably be counter-productive – even if it were possible

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra FAIRFAX journalist Tony Wright tweeted on Thursday: “In-air bombing operational details against enemy on the bullhorn, on-water operational matters against leaky boats at 6 fathoms.” It’s a pretty accurate summation of the government’s broad approach: maximum publicity for anything considered likely to play positively in political terms, and deep […]

Grattan / ASIO history: chasing Russian spies and local communists

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra RECENTLY ASIO has taken on a quite public face in the discussion about fighting terrorism. Its immediate past chief, David Irvine, and its new head, Duncan Lewis, have appeared at ministerial news conferences; the organisation has publicly and strongly defended its push for greater powers. Now the first of […]

GRATTAN / How far can Palmer’s Newman government inquiry probe?

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra THE Senate has set up an extraordinarily broad inquiry into the Queensland government, in another demonstration of Clive Palmer’s power and his determination to pursue state premier Campbell Newman. It is a bad road for the federal parliament to travel but how far it will get down it is […]

GRATTAN / A homeland security super ministry? Perhaps not as good an idea as it sounds

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra IT’S difficult to see how Tony Abbott can avoid a summer reshuffle and easy to believe he’s not relishing the prospect. Few around the Coalition believe that Arthur Sinodinos will return to his assistant treasurer post after he performed unimpressively at the Independent Commission Against Corruption hearings, although ICAC’s […]

Parliament ramps up security, only months after scaling it back

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra Liberal senator Bill Heffernan has had the last laugh on the serious question of security at Australia’s Parliament. Earlier this year, security was slackened in a bid to save A$400,000. MPs’ staff and departmental officials were allowed to go into the building without being scanned. Heffernan was outraged as […]

Grattan on Friday / Plans for local atrocities bring the Middle East conflict close to home

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra Thursday’s revelation that an Australian who is senior in Islamic State allegedly told supporters in this country to commit atrocities randomly against people on the street has dramatically highlighted the link between what’s happening in the Middle East and the home front. On the day Tony Abbott and Bill […]

Grattan / Abbott says exhortations are coming from the Middle East to stir local terrorism attacks

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra IT was an unusual build up to Friday’s raising of the terrorism threat level in Australia from medium to high, though the action itself isn’t particularly surprising. After ASIO’s head David Irvine flagged it on television earlier in the week, there was little doubt it would happen. The decision […]

Grattan on Friday: Australia’s new commitment in the Middle East could be a long one

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra PRECISELY 13 years after the September 11 attacks in New York and Washington that led to the Afghanistan and Iraq engagements, Australia is embroiled in another escalating conflict with an uncertain road map. Once again an Australian prime minister is joined at the hip with an American president in […]

Grattan / Interrogation of Gillard produces nothing new

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra During Julia Gillard’s evidence to the Royal Commission on union corruption, even Commissioner Dyson Heydon became impatient with the traversing of old ground. Trying to curb questions that had already been asked during the morning he pointed out that Gillard had been in the witness box a very long […]